Political leadership and populism

Rovira Kaltwasser, Cristobal and Mudde, Cas (2013) Political leadership and populism. In: Rhodes, R A W and Hart, Paul T (eds.) The Oxford handbook of political leadership. Oxford handbooks in politics and international relations . Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199653881

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Populism has appeared in different times and places. Allegedly, one of the few commonalities between all the different manifestations of populism is the existence of a charismatic and strong leader, who is able to mobilize the masses and control the political organization behind him. In this chapter we have argued instead that this type of leadership is not a defining attribute of populism. We defined populism as an ideology or worldview, which assumes that society is characterized by a Manichean division between ‘the pure people’ and ‘the corrupt elite.’ This means that populism is not always constructed from above, i.e. by a powerful leader; many societies count a significant number of people who believe in the populist set of ideas, irrespective of the presence of a populist leader. In fact, populism exists with various types of leadership and can even be leaderless. In short, the link between political leadership and populism is much more complicated as much of the literature suggests and deserves more careful attention.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JL Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Depositing User: Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 12:26
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2015 10:26
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/41366

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